Landlord Collections – Ask Michelle

Hello Michelle
I’m a Landlord in NJ and I am looking for a systyem to collect Rent Payments from my tenants past and present.  The one tenant that moved out left a balance, and also there is one tenant that still live in my rental home and never seems to rember to pay the rent.
What do you think I can do?  Do you think this is something that I can hire a virtual collection person for this job and which of your books do you recommend?
Thanks – Vinny

Vinny – You could outsource the collections, but in my experience in doing tenant collections, small claims court might be a more effective avenue for you.  I would try sending them a few letters or dropping them off  and if they do not pay or respond, take them to court.  You can file yourself or have someone do it for you.

For the letters to send to the tenants before court I would recommend you use any of the letters in my books:

The Ultimate Credit & Collections Handbook, the check IS in the mail (also has a CD of letters you can use)

The Guide to Getting Paid, weed out bad paying customers, collect on past due balances, and avoid bad debt.

How to get your customers to pay – Fast, Easy, Effective Letters

Once you send 2-3 letters, go to your local courthouse or call them and ask the for the forms to fill out to take someone to small claims court.  You can fill them out there or at home, then bring them back and pay a filing fee (usually about $25 – and this will be added to the judgment if you win) and then wait. When you use small claims court be patient, it does take some time, but they do all the work.  All you need to do once you have filed these papers is wait for a notice to come to tell you when to go to court about this debt.  When you go bring all and any paperwork you have, copies of the 2-3 letters from my books that you sent the tenant, any lease or contract or anything the tenant signed and any bad checks or paperwork pertaining to money that specific tenant owes you.

Next time – Do not rent to anyone without checking their history – get a signed credit application and check it – get a signed agreement, lease and/or contract!


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2 Responses to Landlord Collections – Ask Michelle

  1. Tim says:

    Michelle, I been wanting for my own collection company. Which book should I buy first and where because the book store where I live don’t have them. Also right now I am working for a collection company about 6months into it ,one of top agent thinking that I can do this on my own and make more money. Please help me interms of how to get started in ownership of a collection company.

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